The key attributes of landscape pattern include composition and configuration, which can be depicted by landscape/spatial metrics. An emerging pathway is leveraging vertical data to advance three-dimensional (3-D) spatial metrics to interpret landscape attributes and quantify 3-D patterns.
We introduced a suite of spatial metrics to recognize 3-D morphological characteristics of residential communities and examine their temporal changes.
Seventeen 3-D spatial metrics were designed and computed at patch-, class-, and landscape-levels based on building footprints and height information in geographic information system (GIS). These metrics characterized 3-D forms of residential communities, including number, area, height, shape, and diversity. These 3-D features were further used to recognize five typical built types based on the scheme of local climate zone (LCZ) and quantify their 3-D morphological changes with rapid urbanization.
The 3-D spatial metrics performed well in describing vertical and volumetric characteristics of residential communities and distinguishing five typical built types in Xiamen, China. Our results indicated that architectural styles of residential communities changed from homo- to mixed-rise buildings and from compact to open arrangement with rapid urbanization.
Both 2-D and 3-D features are key attributes of the landscape. Our results showed that 3-D spatial metrics were not only useful tools for quantifying surface patterns but also key complements to vertical feature characterization, offering advantages in representing urbanization over the existing indexes. Growing 3-D datasets have great potential to develop more valuable metrics for characterizing spatial features, capturing ecological processes, and understanding drivers in various landscape contexts.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Augiseau V, Barles S (2017) Studying construction materials flows and stock: a review resources. Conserv Recycl 123:153–164.
Bailey RM (2011) Spatial and temporal signatures of fragility and threshold proximity in modelled semi-arid vegetation. Proc R Soc B 278:1064–1071.
Bechle MJ, Millet DB, Marshall JD (2011) Effects of Income and Urban Form on Urban NO2: global evidence from satellites. Environ Sci Technol 45:4914–4919.
Bereitschaft B, Debbage K (2013) Urban form, air pollution, and CO2 emissions in large U.S. Metrop Areas Prof Geogr 65:612–635.
Cao Q, Liu Y, Georgescu M, Wu J (2020) Impacts of landscape changes on local and regional climate: a systematic review. Landscape Ecol 35:1269–1290.
Che M, Du P, Gamba P (2018) 2- and 3-D urban change detection with quad-PolSAR data . IEEE Geosci Remote Sens Lett 15:68–72.
Chen Z, Xu B, Devereux B (2014) Urban landscape pattern analysis based on 3D landscape models. Appl Geogr 55:82–91.
Costanza R, d’Arge R, de Groot R, Farber S, Grasso M, Hannon B, Limburg K, Naeem S, O’Neill RV, Paruelo J, Raskin RG, Sutton P, van den Belt M (1997) The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387:253–260
Costanza JK, Riitters K, Vogt P, Wickham J (2019) Describing and analyzing landscape patterns: where are we now, and where are we going? Landscape Ecol 34:2049–2055.
Cumming G (2011) Spatial resilience: integrating landscape ecology, resilience, and sustainability. Landscape Ecol 26:899–909.
Davis AY, Jung J, Pijanowski BC, Minor ES (2016) Combined vegetation volume and “greenness” affect urban air temperature. Appl Geogr 71:106–114.
Ewing R, Pendall R, Chen D (2002) Measuring sprawl and its impact. Cornell University, Washington, DC
Ewing R, Schieber RA, Zegeer CV (2003) Urban sprawl as a risk factor in motor vehicle occupant and pedestrian fatalities. Am J Public Health 93:1541–1545.
Ewing R, Rong F (2008) The impact of urban form on U.S. residential energy use. Hous Policy Debate 19:1–30.
Fahrig L (2003) Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 34:487–515
Forman RTT (1995) Some general principles of landscape and regional ecology. Landscape Ecol 10:133–142.
Frank S, Fürst C, Koschke L, Makeschin F (2012) A contribution towards a transfer of the ecosystem service concept to landscape planning using landscape metrics. Ecol Indic 21:30–38.
Galster G, Hanson R, Ratcliffe MR, Wolman H, Coleman S, Freihage J (2001) Wrestling sprawl to the ground: defining and measuring an elusive concept. Hous Policy Debate 12:681–717.
Hang J, Li Y, Sandberg M, Buccolieri R, Di Sabatino S (2012) The influence of building height variability on pollutant dispersion and pedestrian ventilation in idealized high-rise urban areas. Build Environ 56:346–360.
Hao R, Yu D, Liu Y, Liu Y, Qiao J, Wang X, Du J (2017) Impacts of changes in climate and landscape pattern on ecosystem services. Sci Total Environ 579:718–728.
Kedron P, Zhao Y, Frazier AE (2019) Three dimensional (3D) spatial metrics for objects. Landscape Ecol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-019-00861-4
Li C, Li J, Wu J (2013a) Quantifying the speed, growth modes, and landscape pattern changes of urbanization: a hierarchical patch dynamics approach. Landscape Ecol 28:1875–1888.
Li J, Li C, Zhu F, Song C, Wu J (2013b) Spatiotemporal pattern of urbanization in Shanghai, China between 1989 and 2005. Landscape Ecol 28:1545–1565.
Liu M, Hu Y-M, Li C-L (2017a) Landscape metrics for three-dimensional urban building pattern recognition. Appl Geogr 87:66–72.
Liu Y, Wu J, Yu D (2017) Characterizing spatiotemporal patterns of air pollution in China: a multiscale landscape approach. Ecol Indic 76:344–356.
Liu Y, Wu J, Yu D (2018) Disentangling the complex effects of socioeconomic, climatic, and urban form factors on air pollution: a case study of China. Sustainability 10:776.
Liu Y, Wu J, Yu D, Hao R (2018) Understanding the patterns and drivers of air pollution on multiple time scales: the case of northern. China Environ Manag 61:1048–1061.
Liu Y, Wu J, Yu D, Ma Q (2018) The relationship between urban form and air pollution depends on seasonality and city size Environmental. Sci Pollut Res 25:15554–15567.
Luck M, Wu J (2002) A gradient analysis of urban landscape pattern: a case study from the Phoenix metropolitan region, Arizona, USA. Landscape Ecol 17:327–339.
Ludwig JA, Wilcox BP, Breshears DD, Tongway DJ, Anton CI (2005) Vegetation patches and runoff-erosion as interacting ecohydrological processes in semiarid. Landscape Ecol 86:288–297
McGarigal K, Cushman SA, Ene E (2012) FRAGSTATS v4: spatial pattern analysis program for categorical and continuous maps. In: Computer software program produced by the authors at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Metzger MJ, Rounsevell MDA, Acosta-Michlik L, Leemans R, Schröter D (2006) The vulnerability of ecosystem services to land use change. Agr Ecosyst Environ 114:69–85.
O’Neill RV, Krummel JR, Gardner RH, Sugihara G, Jackson B, DeAngelis DL, Milne BT, Turner MG, Zygmunt B, Christensen SW, Dale VH, Graham RL (1988) Indices of landscape pattern. Landscape Ecol 1:153–162
Pauliuk S, Müller DB (2014) The role of in-use stocks in the social metabolism and in climate change mitigation. Glob Environ Change 24:132–142.
Perera NGR, Emmanuel R (2018) A “Local Climate Zone” based approach to urban planning in Colombo. Sri Lanka Urban Clim 23:188–203.
Peterson GD (2002) Estimating resilience across landscapes. Conserv Ecol 6:17
Priyadarsini R, Hien WN, Wai David CK (2008) Microclimatic modeling of the urban thermal environment of Singapore to mitigate urban heat island. Sol Energy 82:727–745.
Reis JP, Silva EA, Pinho P (2016) Spatial metrics to study urban patterns in growing and shrinking cities. Urban Geogr 37:246–271.
Song Y, Knaap G-J (2004) Measuring urban form: is Portland winning the war on sprawl? J Am Plann Assoc 70:210–225.
Stewart ID, Oke TR (2012) Local climate zones for urban temperature studies B. AM Meteorol Soc 93:1879–1900.
Termorshuizen J, Opdam P (2009) Landscape services as a bridge between landscape ecology and sustainable development. Landscape Ecol 24:1037–1052.
Thacker S, Adshead D, Fay M, Hallegatte S, Harvey M, Meller H, O’Regan N, Rozenberg J, Watkins G, Hall JW (2019) Infrastructure for sustainable development. Nat Sustain 2:234–331
Tian Y, Zhou W, Qian Y, Zheng Z, Yan J (2019) The effect of urban 2D and 3D morphology on air temperature in residential neighborhoods. Landscape Ecol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-019-00834-7
Tsai Y-H (2005) Quantifying urban form: compactness versus ‘sprawl’. Urban Stud 42:141–161.
Turner W, Spector S, Gardiner N, Fladeland M, Sterling E, Steininger M (2003) Remote sensing for biodiversity science and conservation . Trends Ecol Evol 18:306–314.
Wong MS, Nichol JE, To PH, Wang J (2010) A simple method for designation of urban ventilation corridors and its application to urban heat island analysis. Build Environ 45:1880–1889.
Wu J, David JL (2002) A spatially explicit hierarchical approach to modeling complex ecological systems: theory and applications. Ecol Model 153:7–26.
Wu J, Levin SA (1994) A spatial patch dynamic modeling approach to pattern and process in an annual. Grassland Ecol Monogr 64:447–464.
Wu J, Levin SA (1997) A patch-based spatial modeling approach: conceptual framework and simulation scheme. Ecol Model 101:325–346.
Wu J, Jenerette GD, Buyantuyev A, Redman CL (2011) Quantifying spatiotemporal patterns of urbanization: the case of the two fastest growing metropolitan regions in the United. States Ecol Complex 8:1–8.
Wu J (2013) Landscape sustainability science: ecosystem services and human well-being in changing landscapes. Landscape Ecol 28:999–1023.
Wu Q, Guo F, Li H, Kang J (2017) Measuring landscape pattern in three dimensional space. Landscape Urban Plan 167:49–59.
Xi FF, Davis SJ, Ciais P, Crawford-Brown D, Guan D, Pade C, Shi T, Syddall M, Lv J, Ji L, Bing L, Wang J, Wei W, Yang K-H, Lagerblad B, Galan I, Andrade C, Zhang Y, Liu Z (2016) Substantial global carbon uptake by cement carbonation. Nat Geosci 9:880
Yu D, Liu Y, Shi P, Wu J (2019) Projecting impacts of climate change on global terrestrial ecoregions. Ecol Indic 103:114–123.
Yuan C, Ng E, Norford LK (2014) Improving air quality in high-density cities by understanding the relationship between air pollutant dispersion and urban morphologies. Build Environ 71:245–258.
Zhang Y, Murray AT, Turner Ii BL (2017) Optimizing green space locations to reduce daytime and nighttime urban heat island effects in Phoenix Arizona. Landscape Urban Plan 165:162–171.
Zhang JJ, Fu MC, Chen J, Chu PP, Zhang CC (2018) Variations in mine subsidence-disturbed residential land price: case study of critical determinants and spatial relationships in the Nanhu Ecoregion of Tangshan, China. J Urban Plan Dev 144:16.
Zielinska-Dabkowska KM, Xavia K (2019) Protect our right to light. Nature 568:451–453
Zurlini G, Riitters K, Zaccarelli N, Petrosillo I, Jones KB, Rossi L (2006) Disturbance patterns in a socio-ecological system at multiple scales. Ecol Complex 3:119–128.
We thank the members of the Resources and Urban Sustainability group at the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences for their suggestions on this study. Our study was funded by National Key Research and Development Program of Ministry of Science and Technology (2017YFC0505703); National Natural Science Foundation of China (41801222); Key Program of Frontier Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (QYZDB-SSW-DQC012); Fujian Foreign Cooperation Funding (2019I0031).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Liu, Y., Chen, C., Li, J. et al. Characterizing three dimensional (3-D) morphology of residential buildings by landscape metrics. Landscape Ecol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-020-01084-8
- Urban form
- Spatial pattern
- Spatial metric
- Local climate zones (LCZs)
- Remote sensing
- Urban sustainability
- High-resolution urban grids (HUGs)
- Industrial ecology